So last week we talked about abdominal seperation or diastasis recti, the fact that most pregnant women will experience this both during and after birth, the possible side effects of an unhealed DR and how to check for it
This instalment will go though some exercises you can do to help heal DR by strengthening the core and pelvic floor muscles in safe positions.
But before you jump into exercise lets just talk about two really important factors that affect core health and DR that are probably hugely overlooked
Many of us would love to have better posture but do we actually know what constitutes better posture? And apart from appearance what role does posture play in DR and core health?
Well if you aren't in good alignment, especially when loaded (carrying children, exercising) then your core and pelvic floor cannot work together optimally - its that simple
And under load it really is important that we have an idea of how we should be standing so we can protect our bodies and keep them injury free
Make sure that your ribs are stacked over your hips - super important
Make sure your tailbone is not tucked under and you are unconsciously keeping your glutes squeezed
Make sure you are not 'thrusting' the ribs upright - which many of us do by the way when we think 'good posture' 😂
Yep you know that thing we do all day every day! Sometimes this just needs tweaking so that we are breathing into the whole trunk, and this will really help improve the coordination and strength of your core and deep abdominal muscle function.
This is usually a vital step in undertaking pelvic rehabilitation in women with either incontinence or a prolapse
There are 4 exercise included in this post, please watch the video attached to be able to execute them properly and make sure you follow the guidelines below especially for how to breathe
I recommend you do these exercises every day or at least 5x per week. As I mentioned in the last post a period of consistent training will allow you to test the tension and gap of your abdominals effectively, so give yourself 6-8 weeks and test yourself every 2 weeks!
1 Quadruped birddog
- Set up in a boxed position with knees under hips and hands under shoulders
- Make sure your back is in a neutral position - head in alignment with spine and eyes on the floor - no dipping between the shoulder blades
- Take a nice big inhale to prepare for the movement and on the exhale extend opposite limbs
- Activate your core and pelvic floor and the working glute as you breathe out
🌟Repeat 10 times for each side 🌟
2. Glute Bridge
▶️Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on floor and hip distance apart
- Inhale to prepare (breathe into belly, ribs and pelvic floor) and as you exhale peel the glutes off the floor
- Hold for a count of 2 at the top really focusing on bum squeezing
Careful not to flare out the rip cage or over push through the lower back
🌟Repeat 10-15 times 🌟
3. Abdominal Toe Taps
▶️Lie on your back with both legs in a table top position
- Push your lower back into the floor so that your hips rock up towards your ribs (you should feel your abs immediately work)
- Inhale as you slowly lower one leg towards the floor, keep the knee at a 90 degree angle as you do this
- Exhale to lift the leg back to start position, focus on pushing back into the floor as you do this and drawing your belly button down into your sping
🌟Repeat 10 times each side 🌟
4. Heel Slides - My Fave!
▶️Lie on back, knees bent feet flat on floor, back pushed down
- Slowly, on the inhale, slide one leg out fully - this is where the back may arch so keep it down
- Exhale engage core and pelvic floor and slide the leg and heel back to start position
🌟Repeat 8-10 times each side 🌟